The application of a multi-faceted approach for evaluating and improving the life cycle environmental performance of service industries

Scott O. Shrake, Melissa M. Bilec, Amy E. Landis

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    7 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Service industries continue to be to be a driving force economically, both within the US and globally, yet their environmental impacts still tend to be overlooked. This article presents a hybrid life cycle assessment case study to assess and quantify the life cycle impacts of an engineering service firm. The data for the hybrid LCA of the firm's activities and operations was collected for one fiscal year, from January 2009 to December 2009. Data collection methods include an energy audit, personnel survey, and assessment of waste management practices. The results of the case study show that the impacts of employee travel and transportation as well as the building premises are the major contributors to the environmental impact of a service industry (40% and 24% of GWP, respectively) and should be the areas targeted for improvements to reduce life-cycle impacts of similar service firms. The study also reveals that in order to make specific targeted reductions to a firm's life-cycle impacts, more in depth evaluation of certain activities, such as workstation energy consumption, can be essential to identifying unnecessary wastes of resources.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)263-276
    Number of pages14
    JournalJournal of Cleaner Production
    Volume42
    DOIs
    StatePublished - 2013

    Fingerprint

    Life cycle
    life cycle
    industry
    Environmental impact
    Industry
    environmental impact
    Personnel
    Waste management
    waste management
    management practice
    Energy utilization
    engineering
    environmental performance
    firm
    services
    Environmental performance
    Service industries
    resource
    energy
    Service firms

    Keywords

    • Engineering service sector
    • Hybrid life cycle assessment
    • Industrial ecology
    • Life cycle assessment
    • Service industry

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
    • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
    • Environmental Science(all)
    • Strategy and Management

    Cite this

    The application of a multi-faceted approach for evaluating and improving the life cycle environmental performance of service industries. / Shrake, Scott O.; Bilec, Melissa M.; Landis, Amy E.

    In: Journal of Cleaner Production, Vol. 42, 2013, p. 263-276.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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